Band Handbook

 Bulldog Band Hand Book

Message from the Directors

Welcome to the Chisholm Trail Middle School Bulldog Band. You represent an outstanding school and band program with the highest standards of excellence.  The best experiences are those in which you had a chance to give your best. Our program is a team effort; which will require your best efforts, and ours, at all times to ensure a fun and positive experience at Chisholm Trail Middle School.  We look forward to your being a part of this organization and carrying on its traditions and high performance standards.


Band Descriptions and Expectations


The CTMS Wind Ensemble is the advanced performing ensemble.  Membership in this band is made of 7th and 8th grade students according to ability.


Performance Expectations:

Pep rallies/a football game

Fall, Winter, and Spring Concerts

Solo and Ensemble Contests

All-District/All-Region Band Tryouts

Percussion Ensemble Concert

Festival Competitions

Pre-UIL and UIL Contest (based on eligibility)

All events on band calendar for your class



45-60 minute sectionals held each week (one sectional a week is scheduled for each section)

After-school rehearsals (usually held only during UIL Contest time in the Spring) 



The Symphonic Band is an intermediate/advanced group made up of 7th and 8th grade students.


Performance Expectations:

Pep rallies / Football Games

Fall, Winter, and Spring Concerts

Solo and Ensemble Contests

All-District/All Region Band Tryouts (based on eligibility and ability)

Festival competitions

Pre-UIL and UIL Contest (based on eligibility)

All events on band calendar for your class



45-60 minute sectionals held each week (one sectional a week is scheduled for each section)

After-school rehearsals (usually held only during UIL Contest time in the Spring)

Beginning Band:

The Beginning Band is an introductory group made up of primarily 6th grade students.

Performance Expectations:

Winter and Spring Concerts

Solo Contests

Festival competitions

All events on band calendar for your class


After-school rehearsals for concerts and contest (there are usually two after school rehearsals in the fall and two after school rehearsals in the spring for the beginning band.)


Band Member’s Expectations

1.  Students are expected to follow the student Code of Conduct, dress code and the CTMS Band rules at all times.

2.  Please be prepared to come into the classroom with your binder, music, instrument, pencil and anything necessary for a successful rehearsal.

3.  Show care and respect for all band equipment.  Students are responsible for replacing any damaged or destroyed instrument that is not their own.

4.  Due to the minimal time we have in class, participation in rehearsals, sectionals, and performances outside of normal school hours benefits each group and student as we address individual sections of music. This also helps our rehearsal time be more effective.  As sectionals are scheduled, they will be required of each group.  Excused absences may be granted for personal illness or any other extenuating circumstance excused by the director.  Both student and parent should give advanced notice to the director if you are going to be absent from a rehearsal or performance. If you miss a rehearsal or performance, you must make up the work in a manner that complies with the district grading policy.

5.  Attendance at all band events (for your class) is expected.  Failure to attend rehearsals or performances in a consistent and reliable manner can result in a lowering of your grade, a lower chair placement, and possible removal from the band program. We will not penalize any students who are ineligible for missing any activities. 

6.  In order to be a successful musician, regular practice is the responsibility of the student. 

7.  Rehearsals are a time for bringing the music together, not to “practice” it as a group.  Therefore, if each student comes prepared for rehearsal, musical advancement can occur at a much faster pace.

8.  As part of the Texas TEKS requirements, each student is required to perform in a group setting as well as an individual performance.  Therefore, concerts and performances will be graded as performance exam grades. However, it is also great to hear the amazing progress achieved at any performance as the year passes by. 

 Parental Commitments:

1.  Encourage your student to practice daily on their instrument. Ask your student to perform for you at home on a regular basis.

2.  Provide a comfortable, quiet practice area with a music stand.  (Outside is not

     a good idea, due to the fact that weather can affect the horn in a negative way)

3.  Expect good grades from your student in all classes.

4.  Provide financial support for a quality instrument, accessories, maintenance, music, uniform, entry fees, and other band necessities.

5.  Encourage your child to participate in activities such as private lessons, solo and ensemble contest, and fundraisers. 

6.  Provide transportation to section rehearsals, after-school band rehearsals, and concerts.

7.  Attend concerts and promote proper concert etiquette.

8.  Maintain a positive and encouraging attitude toward your child’s participation in the band program at CTMS and in continuing onto the Northwest, Eaton, or Byron Nelson High School Band programs. 


Band Hall Guidelines:

1.  When you are entering the band hall or ensemble rooms, stay quiet and do not talk.

2.  Take your instrument and music home daily for practice purposes.

3.  Students who are not part of the CTMS Band are not allowed in the band.

4.  Do not touch any equipment in the band hall other than your own; such as  

percussion, tubas, tuners, sound equipment, and metronomes.

5.  Please keep a name tag on your instrument and binder at all times.

6.  Make sure when you pick up your instrument after school that it is your instrument.

7.  Food, gum, or drinks are not allowed in the band hall or ensemble rooms.

8.  If a band director is not present in the band hall, do not stay.

9.  Make sure you check the board, directors Moodle web site, and the CTMS Band page daily for messages about upcoming events and assignments.

10. Do not “hang out” in or around the band hall when not in a rehearsal.



            The following consequences will be given for classroom disruptions and offenses.

1st offense       Verbal warning

2nd offense       Detention

3rd offense       Student/teacher phone conference with parent

4th offense       Parent/teacher conference, possible office referral

 We expect every student to do their best when it comes to personal discipline. A consistent failure to meet behavioral expectations can result in your removal from the band program.


Students will receive a report card grade based on the following criteria:

Rehearsal Skills

Practice Records

Weekly pass-off grades (objective sheets)



Written quizzes, exams, and other homework assignments

Written summative assignments 

Objective Sheets:

Each student in our band program will receive an objective sheet every six weeks and is responsible for completing the items listed.  Objectives can only be passed off by band directors and must be performed to near-perfect standards. If a student fails to pass off an objective, he or she must wait until the next day to attempt again. Beginners are given opportunities to pass off objectives during their band classes. Older students must pass off objectives during section rehearsals or with an assisting director during class (upon the director’s discretion). On occasion, we will have an “objective day” in class when we will go around the room and let students perform objectives.  If they do not succeed, they may attempt again before or after school.


Performance at contests, festivals, band trips, rehearsals, and athletic events are considered extra-curricular and are subject to eligibility rules.  Participation in extra-curricular activities is based on eligibility requirements set by the State Board of Education.  Students must maintain an average of 70 or above in all classes each reporting period to remain eligible.  AP classes are at 60 or above.


All students will wear a band shirt (purchased from the band), blue jeans, and tennis shoes for the pep rallies, football games, and other informal concerts or activities as instructed by the directors.

7th and 8th grade students only:

For more formal concerts and contests, boys will wear a white tuxedo shirt (purchased through the band), the tuxedo uniform provided by school (pants, vest, bow tie) and black socks and dress shoes (provided by the individual). 

Girls will wear a dress provided by the school. Girls will need to provide their own black hose and black dress shoes to wear with their dress.

Students who are not in complete uniform may not be allowed to participate in performances which may have an impact on their grade.

School Owned Instruments:

Students who play school owned instruments (oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, bari sax, tenor sax, French horn, euphonium, tuba, and percussion) will pay a rental fee of $100.00 for the school year. 


Private Lesson Program:

Private lessons are available through the band program to all band students and are highly recommended for all students.  Individual instruction is extremely beneficial due to the one on one teaching environment. 

Our private instructors are professional teachers.  They are available to teach lessons during band class or before and after school.  Lessons once a week and scheduling issues need to be addressed to the individual instructor.  Make-up lessons will be arranged between you and the instructor.  Cancellation of lessons need to be made 2 weeks prior to any discontinuation, otherwise, if you participate in this service, please plan to have lessons for the entirety of the school year so that your child can have continuous performance growth. 

The fee per lesson is $20.00 for a 22 minute lesson.  Private lessons must be paid a month in advance either by check or cash.  Checks should be made out to the private lesson teacher not CTMS.  If you would like lessons but are having financial issues, we do offer scholarships on a need basis. Lesson teachers can not approve scholarships, only a director can do that.  Please fill out the page towards the end of the handbook titled Private Lesson Form and have your student return it to a band director as soon as possible.  Any student who receives a scholarship must participate in any and all fundraisers throughout the school year.